The Collaboratory

Professional design challenges for our cutting-edge creatives.

Students often ask, “How can I get a job if I don’t have experience? How can I get experience if I don’t have a job?” The Collaboratory is the stone that hits both birds. The Collaboratory delivers customer-focused, design-based solutions for businesses and experiential learning opportunities for students.

How does it work?

Forward-thinking businesses come to us with professional design challenges. We turn those challenges into legitimate projects and connect faculty and students with the opportunity to create innovative design solutions. 

The Collaboratory offers multiple ways to engage students and clients, from a one-day Immersive to a long-term, multi-semester engagement. Find out how you can participate!

The Collaboratory is a partnership between Ringling College of Art and Design and The Patterson Foundation. 

'The Collaboratory Commitment'

“Our ‘Collaboratory Commitment’ guarantees that every student at Ringling College will have the opportunity to work with a real world client on a real world project by the time they graduate. And that’s a promise.”
– Dr. Larry R. Thompson

The Commitment offers a number of programs and opportunities that are designed to enhance the quality of student learning at Ringling College by providing professional experiences that allow students to build their portfolios, strengthen their resumés, and acquire confidence and familiarity with professional best practices.

The Collaboratory was established in order to provide groundbreaking, creative, experiential learning opportunities that help bridge the gap between theory and practice.

The Collaboratory is one of several pathways for students to gain hands-on, feet wet, fully immersive experiential learning alongside:

Art Network
Academic Department Projects & Internships
Career Services Internships
Design Center
Service-Learning & Volunteerism
Studio Lab

For more information about The Collaboratory Commitment,  Click here 

Why Get Involved?

Professional design challenges require innovative design solutions. That’s why The Collaboratory exists.

The Collaboratory is an opportunity for Ringling College students to put their skills to work in an educational setting, while also providing businesses and brands with innovative, relevant design solutions from some of the nation’s most talented young artists and designers. By partnering with The Collaboratory, organizations provide our students with priceless experiential learning opportunities. Working with client organizations fosters a greater understanding of a business’ specific challenges, imparts knowledge about and interest in the industry, and can yield new relationships that will last a professional lifetime. 

Organizations partnering with the Collaboratory gain access to fresh perspectives on their new and existing design challenges from the emerging creative leaders of tomorrow. You will collaborate with the best and brightest at Ringling College to break new ground and stay ahead of the curve. Collaboratory students and faculty have employed their expertise in diverse industries such as hospitality & tourism, law enforcement, healthcare and biomedical, and e-commerce. 


A happy client

"We were absolutely thrilled with the creativity and quality of the design concepts we received. Investing in this charrette was one of the wisest business decisions we’ve made for our new restaurant and bar."

- Jill Ramsey, Sanctuary Holdings

Students participating in the Collaboratory quickly acquire the skills needed to thrive in our fast-paced professional work environment. As a Collaboratory student, you will work on faculty-led teams and collaborate with clients to tackle exciting design challenges.  


A happy student

"Working with real clients while still being a student is priceless; it’s low-risk but has the high pressure and countless possible outcomes of a real job setting. These experiences have resulted in me understanding several industries and how they work and given me insight into my own future."

- Keith Nelson, Business of Art and Design student

Collaboratory Project Types

The Collaboratory offers three options for engagement:

Build quick, creative solutions.

An Immersive focuses on a concentrated effort to work on product deliverables as a team for a specific client. They are conducted over a short time period, generally 3-4 weekends. Immersives are one of our most popular offerings as our student teams can transform brands and businesses over the course of a month.

Collaborate on a comprehensive campaign.

Over the course of 16 weeks, faculty-led student teams will take a deep dive into an organization, working with leadership and staff of the organization. Applying theoretical classroom learning and professional design practices, the student teams conduct research and ideation, and develop a variety of design approaches to come up with the most effective solutions for an organization’s specific needs. Typical engagements involve meetings, prototyping and comps, and comprehensive strategies that range from branding to merchandising and media campaigns.

It's a win-win

A Competition offers students the chance to compete against each other for a third-party contest. Generally, winners receive monetary or tangible prizes, awards, or public recognition. Competitions are quick, time-sensitive sessions where designers draft solutions to design problems and are required to submit their offerings within 72 hours to 2 weeks.


Many projects evolve into a multi-phase engagements that can include long-term community relations and internal design initiatives. Long-term projects can range from several semesters to several years in length and are customized based on the client’s and college’s needs and priorities.

Case Studies

Who we’ve worked with and how it worked out…

Porter Family Vineyards:
family-owned and -operated boutique vineyard and in-cave winery located in Napa Valley.


The Sarasota Police Department (SPD):
A progressive, professional department of the City of Sarasota with a sworn force of over 175 officers dedicated to serving its citizens.


An online recording studio where users can invite friends to collaborate in real time.


We’d love to hear from you! 

Ringling College of Art and Design
The Collaboratory
2700 N Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34234


Co-Interim Director of Library Services


Pat Mizak

Co-Interim Director of Library Services


Alexandra Vargas-Minor

Digital Curation and Special Collections Librarian


Janelle Rebel

Technical Services Librarian


Janet Thomas

Instructional Design Librarian


Instructional Design Librarian


Library Technician III (Cataloging and Metadata Assistant)


Lisa Martinez

Library Technician II (Periodicals and Interlibrary Loan)


Library Technician III (Circulation Manager)


Tim DeForest

Library Technician III (Acquisitions Manager/Office Support)


Yolanda Coleman

Library Technician II (Assistant Circulation Manager)


Christina Song

Circulation Assistant

Jean Ferderber

Circulation Assistant Sooyeon Baek
Circulation Assistant James Harrison


Patron Type # of Items Type of Material Borrowing Time
Student 40 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* 7 days
Faculty and Staff 40 Books 6 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 7 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* 7 days
Trustee, Alumni, Cross College Alliance, and  15 Books 3 weeks
Ringling College LibraryAssociation Members CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
PreCollege 5 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
Local Teacher 15 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
Chartwell’s and Follett employees located at Ringling 15 Books 3 weeks
CDs and CD-ROMs 3 days
DVDs and Blu-Ray 3 days
Magazines (unbound) 3 day
Magazines/Annuals (bound) 5 days
Videogames* N/A
*The video game collection supports the research and teaching of the Game Art & Design program. Video games may not be checked out by Alumni, Ringling College Library Association members or Family members.


The Alfred R. Goldstein Library features a wide variety of quiet, group study, and work process spaces. Looking for a quiet study area? Make your way up to the 3rd floor to look for a book in the Research Collection or peruse the new art magazines while relaxing in comfortable seating. When the weather is nice, you can take your coffee from Roberta’s Café on the first floor to one of the four terraces to work outside and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Looking for meeting space to get together with a group? Check out the group study rooms, which are available on all three floors of the Goldstein Library. The 10 group study rooms are available to students on a first-come first served basis, or available for booking by Ringling College faculty and staff for group and class meetings.

Library Hours

Library Services Hours (when classes are in session):

Sunday: 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Monday – Thursday: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
Friday: 8:00 am – 7:00 pm
Saturday: 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Holidays and Breaks:
The Library is closed on holidays, as designated by the institution, and typically operates on a Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 4:30 pm schedule during breaks.

Ringling College ID Access Only

Please note a Ringling College ID is required for access, except from 8:30am – 4:30pm from Monday – Friday.

Hours for the Brizdle-Schoenberg Special Collections Center:

By appointment only from Monday – Friday 9:30 am – 4:30 pm, no drop-ins. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

Contact specialcollections@c.ringling.edu to schedule an appointment.

Visit Us

Ringling College of Art + Design
Alfred R. Goldstein Library
2700 N. Tamiami Trail
Sarasota, FL 34234-5895

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Suggest a Purchase: Library Acquisitions Request

We welcome recommendations for new library materials from the Ringling College community. Librarians will consider all requests bearing in mind their appropriateness for the collections and the current budget.
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Email us: research@ringling.edu
Call us: (941) 359-7587

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